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Putin, Pirro And Pandemonium: Trump Clings To Power As Treason Talk Gets Louder

"It's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked."

Listen, no day is a “good” day for Donald Trump when it comes to media coverage.

At this point, the only rave reviews he gets come from Sean Hannity and the animate remains of Lou Dobbs, both of whom are apparently acting as “consultants” to the White House during the government shutdown. “In the days before his Oval Office address on Tuesday night, Trump leaned on a number of advisers on how to navigate the shutdown he’d waged over funding for his border wall [and] the list included immigration hardliners Fox News host Sean Hannity and Fox Business star Lou Dobbs”, The Daily Beast wrote, in a highly amusing postmortem of Trump’s rather unfortunate Oval Office address.

But if every day is a bad day when it comes to Trump and media coverage, Saturday was an absolute train wreck. America spent the day poring over a New York Times piece which revealed that in 2017, the FBI opened an investigation to determine if Trump was an actual Russian agent and then, later, the Washington Post detailed the lengths Trump has gone to in the course of hiding the details of his various conversations with Vladimir Putin.

Read more

No Biggie, But Turns Out F.B.I. Opened A Secret Probe To See If Trump Is A Literal Russian Agent

According to multiple current and former officials, Trump actually seized “the notes of his own interpreter and instruct[ed] the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials.”

That occurred after the meeting in Hamburg and as the Post goes on to say, it’s part of a pattern, the end result of which is that, according to U.S. officials, “there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years.”

Remember Helsinki

‘Dude. This Is A Total Effing Disgrace’: Current And Former Trump Officials Left Almost Speechless During Putin Press Conference

Trump, Putin Deny Collusion In Joint Press Conference From Helsinki: Full Highlights

Strobe Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state who was involved in “more than a dozen” pow wows between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin called the situation “outrageous.”

For its part, the White House branded the Post’s article “outrageously inaccurate”, without elaborating.

Trump, desperate, called into Fox’s Jeanine Pirro, the bombastic sycophant whose over-the-top rants are more comedy than “news” and who, you’re reminded, was rumored to have been pseudo-offered a top appointment in the administration at one point.

Predictably, the “interview” (if that’s what you want to call it) found Trump ranting at warp speed about everything under the sun. Generally speaking, all of his Fox News phone-ins end up sounding like what you’d get if you called up your coke head friend halfway through an eightball of blow at 2 in the morning.

Asked directly (if facetiously) by Pirro if he is or was acting as an agent of the Kremlin, Trump couldn’t manage to actually say “no”, which was remarkable. Rather, he said he was “insulted” and then proceeded to repeat his “lyin’ James” shtick.

 

Just to be clear, we’ve now reached a point where Fox News is asking the President of the United States if he’s a Russian spy, and somehow, the first word out of his mouth isn’t “no.”

On the contention that he’s concealing the details of his various conversations with Putin, Trump hilariously claimed that “anyone could have listened to that meeting” and that it (the meeting) is open for grabs.”

 

As you can see/hear, he also claimed he “couldn’t care less” if accounts of the meetings were made public and, predictably, he made fun of Jeff Bezos’ divorce proceedings, claiming that Jeff  “has bigger problems than anybody right now”. That of course isn’t true because, well, because Jeff Bezos isn’t under investigation for colluding with a hostile foreign power, obstructing the investigation into that collusion and, assuming Mueller picked up where the FBI left off in 2017, for being a possible intelligence asset of the Kremlin. Trump also managed to squeeze in a few jabs at the Fed and tried to pump up the stock market – as if that’s relevant here.

Trump also took the wild step of attacking a private citizen on national television in the course of talking about Michael Cohen and the infamous taxi medallions. Have a listen to this.

 

“Trump [is] now urging prosecutors to investigate Michael Cohen’s father again [and] Jeanine asks for the name of the father in law”, an incredulous Maggie Haberman said during the interview, adding the obvious, which is that “this is a really stunning way for the president to target a private citizen.”

Finally, when asked if he would attempt to block the Mueller report from being made public, Trump resorted to another rambling diatribe.

 

Spoiler alert: that report will be made public one way or another, so the question is really immaterial. It’s just a matter of whether it’s made public as a matter of course or whether someone has to leak it.

Trump’s interview with Pirro raises at least as many questions as it answers, which isn’t a high bar to clear, because it answers exactly zero questions. The walls are closing in and the President clearly knows it. None of this matters to Pirro of course – it’s just ratings and nothing says “ratings” like “rantings”.

Meanwhile, a new ABC News-WaPo poll shows that 53% of Americans believe Trump and the GOP are responsible for the government shutdown, which became the longest in modern history this weekend.

Shutdown

Support for the wall has actually gone up over the past year. 42% say they support the lunatic idea to construct a barrier on the border, markedly higher than the 34% who supported the idea a year ago, a testament to the relative merits of fearmongering about “caravans” (which Trump also did during his interview with Pirro). Still, a slim majority of Americans oppose the idea at 54%, down sharply from 63% a year ago.

Read more

Shutdown Will Cost US Economy More Than Trump’s Wall Within 2 Weeks

Ultimately, you’ve got to think this is all going to be too much for Trump at some point. He’s so far in over his head on multiple fronts that it’s a small miracle he hasn’t had a complete breakdown by now – that assumes you can’t call his tweets “breakdowns.”

I doubt if even Trump’s most ardent supporters believe he’s telling the truth about his links to the Kremlin at this point. In the same vein, it seems doubtful that support for his agenda (where it still exists) is rooted in a belief that the stories he’s telling (e.g., there’s an “invasion” on the border, our country is being “raped” and “robbed” by our traditional allies, etc.) are all 100% true.

Rather, it seems more likely that America has stumbled far enough down the road to autocracy that the fascination with rule-by-strongman has started to set in and that, combined with a willing suspension of disbelief (a prerequisite for buying into populism), is manifesting itself in support for a president who everyone knows is not running the country consistent with the way democracy is supposed to operate. And again, that’s kind of the point: America appears to be slowly acquiescing to autocratic rule.


 

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18 comments on “Putin, Pirro And Pandemonium: Trump Clings To Power As Treason Talk Gets Louder

  1. For various reasons, I don’t foresee Trump saying anything remotely as dignified as this:

    “By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.”

    I miss the visceral hate and group actions of the late 60’s / early 70’s. Ah, good times…..

  2. Harvey Darrow Cotton

    Trump has four great strengths. The first two, of course, are his mental stability and that he is, like, a really smart genius. Obviously. The lesser known other two are that he is a devout, monogamous family man who eschews divorce, and his uncanny ability to select ultra-competent, ethical lawyers.

    I just wish the Democrats would relent on the wall Trump does not want so he can open the government back up…

  3. If the stories regarding Rod Rosenstein’s intent to leave the DOJ in the next couple of months are true, we may be entering the endgame of the Mueller investigation. It’s possuble that this steady stream of stories is intended to give us the necessary background to understand the report, and to prepare us to accept the findings of the investigation. With any luck, we’re quickly approaching the final days of Trump.

    Here’s an NBC article about Rosenstein’s eminent departure, which is supposedly going to take place after Mueller has competed his investigation.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/rod-rosenstein-plans-leave-justice-department-after-new-attorney-general-n956571

  4. KOYAANISQATSI, from the Hopi language.

    1- crazy life,
    2- life just turmoil,
    3- life out of balance,
    4- life disintegrating,
    5- a state of life that calls for another way of living.

  5. But why on earth would Trump commit treason and become an actual russian agent? In what way could this have benefited him? It seems more plausible to me that some members of the FBI motivated by hatred of Trump, which there is plenty of, thought: “hey, let’s look into this because even if it’s a bit far fetched it’s not going to help him any and half the population and the kitchen sink hate the buffoon.”

    I guess we will find out soon enough, but it seems dangerous to me to overstate charges insofar as it foments greater division, obscures any actual wrongdoing, and generally does not seem to serve any positive good.

    • He has one motivation in his entire life — MONEY.

    • “But why on earth would Trump commit treason and become an actual russian agent?”

      Ummmm.. because he owes them money, maybe? lol. i mean come on, man. you’re not that naive are you? surely you know the history here. there are myriad reasons to suspect he’s in their pocket. that’s the whole reason this is happening. have read any of the indictments and plea deals that have come down over the past year? clearly not. this is as obvious as the sky is blue.

  6. mark van deusen

    one of your best posts.humor helped.Did you send a copy to Nancy P. there will be a point where markets both stock and debt will be moved by all this and may come sooner than later. watch vix

  7. “I’m a very honest person” – almost spit out my coffee when I heard that…
    Right now i feel almost (only almost!) sorry for him. That “very large brain” of his is so warped, it keeps him from realizing that almost everyone only watches his rantings for the laughs.

    @bmisko42: After following this buffoonery for 2 years I have come to believe that he most probably did not purposefully “collude” with Russia to win the election. This by no means exonerates him – he’s simply too stupid to realize that his actions were criminal.
    To quote his remarks regarding the infamous Trump Tower meeting: “Anyone would have taken that meeting”. He is so clueless it hurts.
    2 years down the road it starts to dawn upon him, however by now he has alienated most of his former “friends” and sycophants (just imagine what it takes to push someone as spineless as Michael Cohen over the edge) and fucked up everything in the process.
    Now it’s too late.

    @ Murphy: spot on! Maybe there is a second one: “winning”… 🙂

  8. As entertaining as this is, there is a frightening take-away; ~40% of Americans identify with him. The world is scared of America now (well, except for the poor Central Americans that are, literally, running for their lives), look at the tourism numbers and the trouble high-tech companies are having getting the researchers they need.

  9. Trump treats Allies like enemies and America’s foes like friends. Putin won the U.S. Presidential election in more ways than one. Putin, the Kremlin bankers and Russian Oligarcs and their ‘agents’ likely suggested to Trump he take in Paul Manafort after Paul had done such a great job for Russuan puppets in the Ukraine.

    • Here’s an interesting link in the chain — trump was considering Chris Christie for VP at the time that Manafort came along and Manafort suggested Pence as VP.

      Another interesting link I have only seen a couple of times and only know what I have read: “One of Vice President Mike Pence’s older brothers, Ed Pence, is an executive at Cummins Inc., a company that manufactures engines for the Russian military and has also used lobbying firms connected with Paul Manafort” — from a Snopes article found at this link: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/mike-pences-brother-russian-military/

  10. To therealheisenberg,
    Please don’t misunderstand. In my post earlier my intention was only to caution against the proclivity of pushing the most condemning interpretation of facts possible without sufficient proof.

    Its not quite the same, but the FBI also investigated Hillary over uranium one. Were the immediate accusations of her being a traitor reasonable? Again, that’s not really the same, but my point is that in proportion to how politically charged these stories have become, it is increasingly difficult to discern the truth.

    It is not as obvious as the sky is blue that Trump knowingly and deliberately signed on to be a straight up russian agent and pawn of the Kremlin. Enough of Trumps actions do not support that narrative for me to be convinced. For instance russia vehemently opposed the joint air strike against Assad so much so that they threatened to shoot our misiles down, but Trump went ahead with it. He has also insisted on lower oil prices which is dileterious to the Russian economy. Im not saying trump is free from wrong doing, but i dont see what good it does to overstate the case. Something more like what jamaican articulated seems the more plausible argument.

    Or, if he is a Russian agent, he is a shit agent.

    • “For instance russia vehemently opposed the joint air strike against Assad so much so that they threatened to shoot our misiles down, but Trump went ahead with it. He has also insisted on lower oil prices which is dileterious to the Russian economy.”

      no, and no. again, you are being naive. that airstrike was telegraphed well in advance and seemed to be targeted so as to surprise exactly nobody. look what was hit and what wasn’t. if you don’t think russia and assad knew where those missiles were headed dear god, i can’t help you. the idea that the us (or france or the UK) would strike the Assad regime without coordinating it with Russia is laughable. had the US (or france or the UK) accidentally killed 25 Russian spec ops (or something) it would have been a disaster of epic proportions. russia knew where those air strikes were going to hit and they doubtlessly conveyed that to Assad and the IRGC.

      on the oil, $60 oil is fine for the Russian economy. you don’t seem to understand how that works. look up the difference between how Russia and Saudi Arabia think about crude. the fact that one currency is pegged and one isn’t makes a big difference. it’s not the same calculus. why do you think Russia took so long to get on board with the supply cuts last month? and why do you think al-falih on Sunday said “Russia isn’t moving as fast as we would like.” Obviously Russia doesn’t want oil prices to crash, but they don’t need them to soar either. Again, the calculus is different between Moscow and Riyadh with regard to oil.

      It doesn’t seem like you have a good grasp of all of this and that maybe you are just spouting the party line. after all, it was just Saturday when Trump made the exact same argument about oil that you just did on Twitter.

    • The difference is that in Tiny’s case, there is so much smoke the flames are obscured. In Hillary’s case, there never was any smoke, just the stink of Republican bullshit.

      Remember that when there is that much smoke and the door is opened, the rush of oxygen causes an explosion. Mueller is the door opening.

  11. Well thank you, heisenberg, for taking the time to respond to me. I appreciate that and really enjoy your market/political commentary. I didn’t actually know about that tweet you mentioned because I’ve never used Twitter as it seems to me to have a built in psychological reward mechanism that promotes aggressive speech and putting other people down since that kind of language is more likely to be retweeted.

    I’ll think more about what you have said, and wait for the results of the Mueller probe.

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